What is Article 6? The issue climate negotiators cannot agree

(Climate Change News, 2 Dec 2019) It has proven the hardest part of the Paris Agreement to create rules for, with warnings a weak decision could undermine the accord. Now it will dominate UN talks in Madrid.


MADRID — As two weeks of UN climate talks begin in Madrid on Monday, one contentious issue will occupy diplomats more than any other.

Under the Paris Agreement (the relevant section is Article 6), countries agreed to set up a new global carbon market system to help countries decarbonise their economies at lower cost.

Countries have tried and failed to agree the rules governing this mechanism. It is the last section of the Paris accord rulebook which remains unresolved and it has the potential to make or break efforts to curb emissions.

How are markets linked to the Paris Agreement?

A majority of national climate plans include the use of carbon markets to achieve cheaper emissions reductions. Most commonly this means governments and the private sector can trade emissions reductions.

But some governments may also look to buy carbon credits to develop green projects designed to cut emissions in another country. Others which have cut emissions beyond their target could sell their overachievement to countries struggling to meet their goals.

Not all countries will use these credits. Finland and the UK, for example, have said they will not use them to reach their net zero targets. Norway and Canada, on the other hand, will.

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Climate Change News, 2 Dec 2019: What is Article 6? The issue climate negotiators cannot agree